Protecting Your Brand on the Internet: Special Rules for the New .xxx Domain

September 13, 2011

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has recently approved the .xxx domain dealing with adult entertainment.  ICANN has introduced special procedures for the registration of names under this controversial domain.

When the Internet was first commercialized, a land rush erupted into the original top level domains, such as .ca and .com, resulting in well publicized disputes over cyber squatting and the ownership of domains based on well known trade-marks.

To avoid a similar land rush in new top level domains, such as .biz and .travel, ICANN has employed a Sunrise Period to allow trade-mark registrants to acquire domains based on their trade-marks before opening registration to the general public.

The Sunrise Period for .xxx came into effect on September 7, 2011 and will run until October 28, 2011.  In the Sunrise Period for .xxx, trade-mark registrants may register their trade-marks as domain names in advance of the public or, if preferred, may block registration of their trade-marks as domains.  Blocking registration allows trade-mark registrants to protect their brand in .xxx without actually using their trade-mark in this controversial domain.

To be eligible to reserve a domain based on your trade-mark, your trade-mark must be registered prior to September 1, 2011 and be in effect at the time of application for reservation.  If you have a registered trade-mark and are concerned about your brand’s reputation on the Internet, you should consider applying for registration in the .xxx domain during this Sunrise Period.

If you wish to dispute the ownership of a name based on your trade-mark in any other domain, you can submit a complaint under the domain name dispute resolution process.

Cox & Palmer can help you with trade-mark registration, domain name registration and reservation, and domain name disputes.


Cox & Palmer publications are intended to provide information of a general nature only and not legal advice. The information presented is current to the date of publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.

Related Articles

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision on Historical Child Support Awards

In the Supreme Court of Canada’s most recent family law decision, Michel v. Graydon, 2020 SCC 24, the Court settles a long-standing question about whether child support can be recalculated retroactively once a child has reached adulthood. The short answer is that child support is the right of the child and, with that fundamental tenant […]

read more

Employer’s Challenges and Obligations during the COVID-19 Outbreak

“With the combination of serious public health and economic impacts caused by COVID-19, employers are finding themselves facing unprecedented challenges”. The article Employer’s Challenges and Obligations during the COVID-19 Outbreak, written by Halifax Partner Geoff Breen & Halifax Associate Drew Ritchie, was published in the Spring 2020 edition of the Canadian Bar Association’s Nova Voce. Click here to read the full […]

read more

The Potential High Cost of a Small Claims Action

The recent decision of Justice Fred Ferguson, Mercure v Kaat Auto Sales, 2020 NBQB 39 (CanLII), (“Mercure v Kaat Auto Sales”) is another reminder to parties to think carefully before filing a Small Claims action in New Brunswick. Background In New Brunswick, a litigant can commence a Small Claim so long as the monetary amounts […]

read more
view all
Cox & Palmer publications are intended to provide information of a general nature only and not legal advice. The information presented is current to the date of publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.